French Flavours

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Berlioz,Dupre,Hakim,Hendrie,Prokofiev & Briggs,Ravel,Reuchsel
LABELS: Regent
ALBUM TITLE: French Flavours
WORKS: Various
PERFORMER: Paul Carr (organ)


‘Potpourri’ would probably be a better title for this disc, a rather mixed bag of fancies recorded at St Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham. ‘French Flavours’ sounds more enticing than it proves. There’s a distinct lack of spice in the programme, not to mention substance, but it is true that most of the pieces are French, or have some connection to France: even Purcell’s Trumpet Tune appears in an arrangement by Marcel Dupré, and the March from Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges is a transcription by Jean Guillou from a work that, though by a Russian and premiered in Chicago, was at least first heard in French. As well as the transcriptions, there are several pieces of ‘organists’ music’, including the Ouverture Libanaise by Naji Hakim that begins the disc. It is good to have discovered a movement from Eugène Reuchsel’s Promenades en Provence.

Better programming would have made all the difference, for on this solo debut disc Paul Carr shows himself to be an imaginative player with an ear for colour. In Dupré’s Deux esquisses he has all the virtuosity required.


John Allison